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The original members of the Philosophers.

The Philosophers were a secret group of the wealthiest, most powerful minds from the United States, the Soviet Union, and the Republic of China, formed after World War I. In theory, these three groups were already driving political forces in their respective countries.



After World War I, the original Philosophers established an unseen union between the three nations that lasted for several decades. The Philosophers originally sought to use their incredible resources and powerful influence to steer world history away from brutal, needless warfare. However, with the death of the last founding member in the 1930s, the organization began to spiral out of control. The raison d'être of the organization was gradually corrupted; the Philosophers' philosophy was not passed on to posterity.

In the following years, the Philosophers' power and reach grew exponentially, becoming the unquestioned forces behind each of their governments. They ran independent political forces, had their own agents, and trained schools of operatives that would undermine seats of power throughout other governments. The Philosophers' influence extended to countries and organizations involved in every aspect of every war, essentially becoming war itself. The sacrifices of these wars would cause a shift in the times, leading to renewed conflict that in turn triggered countless other wars, in an endless cycle. In addition, prior to the advent of World War II, they also developed a series of "charm schools," including one American-Soviet-Chinese joint facility, and frequently took in various children from around the world during this time to train them as spies, one of these children being a girl from Idaho who would become known as EVA.

The Philosophers factions during World War II.

During this time, the Philosophers pooled their resources, totaling an estimated one hundred billion dollars, a fortune unmatched by any that preceded or followed it. This money, known as the Philosophers' Legacy, was used to develop entirely new forms of warfare that would dominate global affairs for decades to come; rocketry, nuclear weapons, and superhuman soldiers such as the Cobra Unit. They agreed to redistribute the funds among themselves after the defeat of the Axis Powers.

During World War II, the beginnings of a feud emerged between the different branches of the Philosophers. The Russian Philosophers attempted to sabotage the American Philosophers' Manhattan Project, by supplying misinformation about one of America's key scientists, John von Neumann, implicating him as a supposed Nazi spy. The Russians did not wish for America to build their own plutonium bomb, and so hoped this misinformation would incline the American Philosophers to quietly eliminate von Neumann.

The Cold War

In the confusion of World War II's end, the Philosophers' Legacy was stolen by Boris Volgin, and was divided and hidden in secret bank accounts in Switzerland, Hong Kong, Australia, and other such economic strongholds. The records of the transactions were stored on a single microfilm; the only means to access the vast fortune.

With the loss of the Legacy, tensions continued to rise between the nations and among the Philosophers, tearing the group and the world into three superpowers; America, Russia, and China. Cause and effect were as one; the tension between the three feuding remnants of the Philosophers was the hidden face of the Cold War as each group attempted to concentrate power in their own nation. One of the main reasons why the Cold War started was the rivalry and fight for the Legacy, between the three nations. All of the three nations were fighting for the wealth since they required the Philosophers' Legacy to win the Cold War and become the dominant superpower.

Yevgeny Borisovitch Volgin illegally inherited the Philosophers' Legacy from his father. This enabled him to build the military fortress of Groznyj Grad and carry out many projects (including the Shagohod), his resources practically unlimited.

In June 1959, during the start of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union, The Boss was assigned by the U.S. President to place an agent within the Soviet Union and discover its secrets in regards to space technology. At the time, the CIA were wary of The Boss due to her heroic actions during World War II and refused to help her plant a spy into the Soviet research lab OKB-1. As a result The Boss was forced to tap into the Philosophers' spy network for the first time, knowing full well that the decision would likely come back to haunt her later on. She made contact with a faction of the Russian Philosophers who were unhappy with the one-party communist state, bribing some of them with huge sums of cash and helping others over the Berlin Wall. Her efforts led to her successfully placing a sleeper agent inside OKB-1, at which point NASA began to receive huge amounts of technical data relating to the Soviets' space program.

The CIA then wanted to take full credit for The Boss' work, and took over the role of receiving information sent by the spy from The Boss. She relented but then began to grow suspicious after viewing schematics of the Soviets' space rocket that was sent by the spy. The CIA again refused to investigate the matter, thinking The Boss wanted to take back some of the credit. A solo investigation was conducted by The Boss, and by 1961 she had succeeded in personally infiltrating OKB-1. It is then she learnt the truth, that the mole she had worked so hard to place was now a double agent, having been turned by the Soviets and was now feeding lies to the Americans. She discovered the reason was due to the mole's CIA handler pocketing a large cut of his pay packet, leading the mole to decide the risk was no longer worth what little he was left with.

When the CIA discovered the truth they tried to cover up their ineptitude by feeding lies to John F. Kennedy about The Boss, as he was the first President to not have any previous ties with the Philosophers, something that the CIA used to their advantage. They placed full responsibility for the failure on The Boss, citing that she had selected an unreliable sleeper. They also claimed she had failed to make use of one of the most effective means to ensure a sleeper agent's actions, taking their family hostage, which The Boss would later admit was true.

It is also around this time that the American Philosophers discovered that The Boss had used the Philosophers' spy network to reach out to the Anti-Moscow faction of the Soviet Philosophers to plant her sleeper. They were furious that they had not been tipped off about it, realizing the fact they had been kept in the dark was either due to intervention from the Pro-Moscow Faction of the Soviet Philosophers, or the Anti-Moscow faction had been turned. Outraged by the situation, they once again sent The Boss into the Soviet Union to repay her debt and restore their good name. Upon her return to Russia, she came face to face with The Sorrow, her former comrade and lover, who she discovered had been the one who turned the sleeper agent. He had been completely unaware she had been the one who planted the sleeper in the first place as the Soviet Philosophers had never told him. As revenge for The Boss's actions, the Soviet Philosophers forced the two former lovers to fight to the death, informing them that if they both survived then their child would be killed in their place. The Sorrow offered no resistance and The Boss shot and killed him.

In 1961, President Kennedy fell into disfavor with the Philosophers.[1][2]

The Boss later carried out her final mission for the American Philosophers, by recovering the Philosophers' Legacy from Colonel Volgin. By obtaining the Legacy for the U.S., she hoped to reunite the warring factions of the Philosophers, and return it to the ideals laid out by its founding members. In 1964, after Naked Snake destroyed the Shagohod and killed both Volgin and The Boss, the DCI took possession of half the Legacy from Snake, the latter of whom managed to retrieve it via the machinations of American Philosophers' triple agent Ocelot. Meanwhile, Chinese Philosophers' agent EVA returned with data on the Shagohod but was subsequently fired for failing to retrieve the Legacy. However, the DCI did not inform the rest of the U.S. government about this, as he intended to keep it for himself so he could revive the American Philosophers when the time came.

The "end" of the Philosophers

During the 1960s, the United States Department of Defense began to feel threatened by the CIA's growing influence in America's military affairs, especially in reference to the Bay of Pigs Invasion in 1961, the covert ops in North Vietnam, and the Metal Gear project.

Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." Its canonicity within the continuity is disputed, therefore reader discretion is advised.[?]

By 1970, there was an internal power struggle within the American Philosophers (between the CIA and the DoD). Tired of the American Philosophers' bickering, Zero and Ocelot decided to reform the Philosophers. After Big Boss destroyed Gene's ICBMG, former sleeper agent Ocelot (working together with Zero) killed the DCI, thus acquiring complete control of the Philosophers' Legacy and the complete list with the identities of the Philosopher members. Gene, likewise, against even Zero's wishes, attempted to instigate a nuclear war by launching the ICBMG into Virginia both to directly wipe out the American Philosophers, and to have the Russian and presumably Chinese Philosophers branches framed for the nuclear attack and instigate a full on nuclear war in order to free the world from their control and replace it with Army's Heaven.

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

Zero ended the Philosophers and led the reorganized American Philosophers to continue the omnipotence over the American government and way of life. In essence, the Patriots were simply a rebirth of the organization, containing agents from the three original superpowers, America, Russia, and China, with Zero also having been a former member of the British SAS.

In 1974, Zero's desire to have Big Boss rejoin Cipher was partially to distract the "Old Order" with the latter's mercenary activities while the "New Order" gained ground, implying that remnants of the Philosophers' rule were still active in the world.

Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." Its canonicity within the continuity is disputed, therefore reader discretion is advised.[?]

The Philosophers' manipulating war until their demise in late 1970 was indirectly alluded to by Desperado Enforcement LLC. member Sundowner in 2018, when mockingly asking Raiden whether all historical battles were the result of a conspiracy.[3]

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

Behind the scenes

In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, it is stated that the Wisemen's Committee had been dead for "about 100 years", putting the dissolution of the group at some time around 1909. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater reveals that the last of groups' members had actually died out during the 1930s. They are commented upon by Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, when he points out to Roy Campbell that, "The data we got from Arsenal Gear was a load of crap. Twelve founders who've all been dead for a hundred years... Give me a break."

In a flashback in Metal Gear Solid 3, only eleven members of the Wisemen's Committee are shown. In addition, a woman is shown to be one of them despite Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 4 showing that all twelve members of the Wisemen's Committee were men.

Although not mentioned in the games themselves, the Metal Gear Solid Saga and Metal Gear Solid 4 Database timelines imply that the Philosophers had President Kennedy assassinated after falling into disfavor following the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The group is similar in concept to the real life League of Nations, a multinational alliance formed after World War I with the aim of resolving international conflicts between nations and preventing another World War. This role was was somewhat taken over by the United Nations following its formation in 1945.

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Metal Gear Saga Vol. 2, Kojima Productions (2008). YouTube
  2. ^ Metal Gear Solid 4 Database, Kojima Productions (2008).
  3. ^ Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (TGS Story Trailer), Kojima Productions/Platinum Games Inc. (2012).
    Sundowner: We're [Desperado] just suppliers... We don't create the market for war... Did you think that every battle in history was all part of some big ol' conspiracy?